While Facebook may be developing a search engine, right now they have an algorithm that online marketers should be keeping track of if they get any traffic from social media. Over the past couple of years the way Facebook has shown you posts in their Newsfeed has changed dramatically and definitely impacted the volume of potential viewers your posts can receive.
Initially the Facebook Newsfeed would include virtually all the posts anyone you had any connection with made each day. Eventually FB realized the feed could be gamed by mass postings that ensured people would see your posts regardless of when they logged in. This increased the spamminess of the newsfeeds and jeopardized people seeing any value in it. It could also be one of the reasons the younger audiences migrated away from Facebook to other social platforms.
Their initial change was met by an uproar, as people and companies that had invested time and money in building large Facebook followers and Like numbers were now only reaching about 1-2% of them with their posts. At first this ratio was also being applied to everyone’s family and friends which also annoyed FB users.
So Facebook changed this aspect so that “Family and Friends” posts came back in larger percentages – though still not 100% as am guessing we all have those people in the inner circle we don’t mind not seeing everything they post.
Engagement has always been a major factor in most algorithms and it is with Facebook. Now last week they started filtering ‘clickbait‘ posts – posts with enticing headlines that intended to get you to click and thus increase engagement with the poster and their company or brand. The articles very rarely had much value and thus left a poor user experience but gamed the engagement factor.
While this is now in place it does not negate the use of clever headlines that lead to quality content. If you write it they will come works best with a great headline. Part of the values Facebook looks for are outlined here.
So following the “clickbait” update Facebook has rolled out another algorithm change that uses much of the same techniques Google does – a combination of Quality Program actual users’ feedback and their knowledge of your personal preferences.
They explain it thus:
With this update, we are creating a new ranking signal to predict what is most informative to you, so those stories appear higher in your feed. First, we look at the stories that people tell us they find informative. People from our Feed Quality Program look at each story in their feed and rank it …. we’ve found people find stories informative if they are related to their interests, if they engage people in broader discussions and if they contain news about the world around them…. The stories people rate as informative and really informative help create a new prediction about how informative we think you’ll find each story.
We then combine this signal with how relevant the story might be to you personally — taking into account things like your relationship with the person or publisher that posted, or what you choose to click on, comment on or share — to best predict stories that you might personally find informative. Informative stories are therefore different for each person and will likely change over time.
So as you prepare your content for Facebook, these elements need to be considered. By taking a little more time and being a bit more specific in the information you include (along with that killer headline) about each area of your business you will be reaching more specifically interested audiences.
The engagement does not have to be just with your previous content, now it will include how people engage with the topic or area of information – starting to sound like Google personalization more and more.
So being detailed and specific should find you more engagement with the audience you actually are looking for. Facebook has been fine tuning these in the demographics they offer through Promoted or Boosted Posts. Now with a little effort in the content creation you may be able to reach the right audience without buying them.